Monday, May 11, 2009

what is wrong with social media marketing

Most social media marketing is simply gaming and exploiting the online communities. The core values of blogging, and social network etiquette norms, are routinely dismissed in favor of Fake Transparency, Manipulative Messaging, and Artificial Authenticity.

Corporations are coached on how to blend in. Company representatives are told to act like a regular member of the social network, while harboring a greedy commercial agenda. People using social media tools to form digital tribes & virtual families are seen as sitting ducks for product offers and investment opportunities.

Sleazy network marketers and social media experts lure clients into a process of treating online community sites as just another advertising medium, and nothing more. Just get in there, tweet some inspirational quotes by other people, chat pseudo-authentically with fellow affiliate marketers, cheer each other on, and community members will start to like you.

Emphasis is placed on quantitative measures. accumulating Friends and Followers, thereby building a passive audience for your sales hype and customer deceptions, your marketing messages and scam routines.

But it won't work.

We call social media marketers, who use social networks insincerely as cash cows and revenue generators, a term. It's called Spammers. They interact on social networks primarily, not to join conversations in an altruistic manner, but to pitch dubious products and malicious investment schemes.

It's spam, pure and simple.

You did not ask for sales hype or investment opportunities. You may have friended them because you liked some of their inspirational quotes and cheerful blog posts. You trusted them to be real and genuine. With no hidden agendas or plots. But you were wrong.

It is fun to watch authentic Twitter users expose, belittle, and curse these Social Media Spammers. It's really amusing.

The best business use of social media is providing Non-Productive Customer Service. This means no sales, no marketing, no PR, no promotions, just solving user problems, educating customers, and providing fast response answers to questions, suggestions, and complaints.

Altruism is still a little utilized power in most companies.

They just don't get how Customer Service is a Profit Center. It retains loyal, mouthy, buzz-generating customer evangelists, unpaid but happy sales force volunteers!

Non-productive Interactions with Customers means no strings attached. The company gains no immediate financial benefit, and valuable resources are sacrificed to it. The payback is worth. One satisfied customer on Twitter may be worth his or her weight in gold, thanks to the positive, authentic, uncompensated buzz that could be generated.

Blogospheric buzz, acquired legitimately, may be the cheapest "advertising" you ever did, and it's not even driven by traditional marketing methodologies!

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